Monday, August 11, 2014

$30 weekly keto - shopping

The all-important shopping list.  This is the part that almost everyone will care the most about.  Before we get to the nitty gritty details, I have a few asterisks when it comes to my $30 total.  I assume the following to already exist in the house:

  • salt & pepper
  • some sort of cooking oil or fat (olive oil, butter, coconut oil, etc.)

In addition to those assumptions, I also grow three herbs that I will add to my meals without any associated cost: basil, mint, and parsley. 

Given those caveats, my weekly shopping list:

The list is pretty straightforward, but I'll go into my thinking when putting this together.
  • First, the peach iced tea mix is the one 'splurge' item that is totally un-necessary.  This was mostly a psychological thing by allowing myself a convenience item, but I will definitely enjoy the occasional iced tea instead of water.  
  • The pork rinds are my snack, but also work wonderfully as breading.  They are also one of the very few inexpensive items that give any crunch to the diet.  I love crunchy texture, and I normally crush almonds or macadamia nuts in salads for the added fat and texture.  Those luxuries do not exist at my $30/week price point, so pork rinds it is.
  • The cucumbers are a staple for me because of the price, but also because I love their taste and they provide a little boost of potassium.  I love them in salads, mixed with green onions & sour cream, or just plain with salt & pepper.  They're probably my favorite vegetable.
  • The lettuce is relatively cheap and filling.  I think simple salads will be very common when eating with the budget in mind. 
  • Jalapeños are super cheap and add a bit of spice to any dish, obviously.  I like adding them to omelettes for a kick, or sometimes to spice up egg or chicken salad.  The actual total for my jalapenos were about $0.37, which would be about 7 cents per meal if I used one pepper per meal.  You can't beat that value.
  • Eggs are self explanatory.  They are so versatile and were on a fantastic sale this week.  It's a no-brainer for omelettes & salads, or just plain hard boiled.  
  • I think the garlic & green onion will make it much easier to create a soup.  If I can get onion, garlic, basil, parsley, chicken, salt, and pepper in a pot, I think some magic can happen.  Of course, both work well in an omelette too, or just to saute with chicken and lettuce.  Again, super versatile aromatics that are very cheap.
  • I think some people may view the mayo as the oddest choice, but here I go again using the word versatile.  I love it as a simple salad dressing over lettuce.  It's a great dipping sauce too.  I can combine it with eggs for egg salad, or diced/shredded chicken for chicken salad.  It works fantastically as a coating for baking.  There's so many uses, and it will last awhile.  Buying the 30oz container this week will free up some money next week.  
  • Lastly, our dear friend mr. chicken breast.  I can't think of a more versatile cut of meat.  We do everything with chicken breast, and at $1.98/lb it's basically impossible to beat on pure price.  

A picture showing everything, except for the green onion and garlic.  I purchased those later after realizing I was well under my $30 target.

There we have it.  These are the weapons of choice in my quest to conquer keto on about $4 a day.  


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